Coral’s German XI plus subs from the Premier League era
The English top flight is fast becoming a hotbed for German talent, and another is set to be on his way in the summer after recent reports suggesting that Borussia Dortmund’s Ilkay Gundogan is set to sign for Manchester United.
That got Coral’s football writers thinking, so we have come up with a starting XI plus substitutes of other German stars that have graced our shores in the Premier League era.
Almost half of the players in this team have turned out for Arsenal, which is unsurprising given manager Arsene Wenger’s roots. The Frenchman was born in the Alsace region of France in 1949, which is a former German-occupied part of the country, and he grew up speaking both languages.
Goalkeeper: Jens Lehmann
Former stopper Lehmann was a huge part of Arsenal’s success, being a key player for over four years. His first campaign for the Gunners happened to be the Invincibles season in 2003/04, which he featured in all 38 games.
Right back: Moritz Volz
Voltz is also a former Arsenal player, having started his senior career there, but managed just one League Cup appearance for them. He is better known for his five-season spell with Fulham, and also spent time on-loan with second-tier teams Wimbledon and Ipswich Town.
Centre back: Per Mertesacker
Our third, but not final, Gunner in this team, giant defender Mertesacker is a Die Mannschaft centurion and won the 2014 World Cup with them too. He also lifted the FA Cup last season with Arsenal.
Centre back: Jerome Boateng
The versatile defender is one of many Germans to have played for Manchester City, but had a much-maligned spell at the Etihad that lasted just one season. Since moving to 5/2 Champions League chances Bayern Munich, he has thrived, though, collecting a number of trophies as well as winning the World Cup too.
Left back: Christian Ziege
Forward-thinking wing back Ziege gained 72 caps for Germany, and his first taste in the Premier League was with Middlesbrough back in 1999. He spent a season with Boro, and then Liverpool where he gained a cup treble, but is better known for his time with Tottenham.
Defensive midfield: Dietmar Hamann
Hamann is the only player in this team to have won a Champions League title with a Premier League club, as his Liverpool side famously did in 2005. He netted the first penalty in the shootout against AC Milan in the final.
Centre midfield: Michael Ballack
Unfortunately for English viewers, German great Ballack didn’t grace the Premier League until he was in his 30s, but he still managed four years at Chelsea, where he won the top flight title as well as three FA Cups.
Right wing: Andre Schurrle
World Cup-winner and attacker Schurrle was perhaps unlucky to be sold by the Blues, as he has a decent scoring record and got crucial goals for them. But after two terms he was signed by Wolfsburg.
Attacking midfield: Mesut Ozil
Ozil has had a mixed time since joining Arsenal from 2/1 Champions League chances Real Madrid. The skilful playmaker started well, but his form dipped although it now seems he is back to his best and his better displays have coincided with the Gunners’ terrific current run.
Left wing: Lukas Podolski
Capped 123 times by Die Mannschaft, Poland-born Podolski is one of four German players currently on Arsenal’s books, along with Serge Gnabry too, although he is on-loan at Inter Milan. He has an FA Cup to his name with the Gunners.
Striker: Jurgen Klinsmann
Despite only spending two seasons in the Premier League with Tottenham, current USA head coach Klinsmann is well-remembered during his time there. In his first spell for the north Londoners, he managed an incredible 30 goals across all competitions, a feat only matched since at Spurs by Harry Kane.
GK: Eike Immel
DF: Markus Babbel
DF: Robert Huth
DF/MF: Emre Can
MF: Thomas Hitzlsperger
MF: Steffen Freund
ST: Uwe Rosler